Your eyes… the windows to your soul. If your eyes are partially covered by drooping skin, however, you are robbed of seeing their true shape and their potential for expression. And sometimes that skin can even rob you of peripheral vision. A blepharoplasty (BLEH-far-oh-plasty), but more commonly referred to as an eyelid lift or shortened to “bleph,” is performed to uncover the shape and beauty of your eyes, and it can be life-changing.

An eyelid lift is done to remove excess skin from the upper eyelids and reduce bagginess from the lower eyelids. Often done for cosmetic reasons, it’s also an effective way to improve sight in older people whose sagging upper eyelids get in the way of their vision.

While a bleph doesn’t eliminate dark circles under the eyes, crow’s feet or laugh lines, it is often done in conjunction with other procedures such as laser resurfacing, filler injections, or brow lifts — all to combat a lack of elasticity as well as the forces of gravity that cause excess skin to collect on the upper and lower eyelids. The puff of fat that cushions the eyeball from the skull can also cause bulges in your upper and lower eyelids, forcing it forward, into your lids.

Most of our eyelid lift patients are over 35 and have a realistic idea of what they want. Hereditary droopy lids are also a common reason for the surgery. One of my 65+ clients told me (see photo) she had had “hooded” lids all her life, and after age and gravity took their toll, they became more hooded than ever. The results of her bleph are heartwarming, and she often sends me photos of herself looking years younger.

It’s important to discuss your goals with your plastic surgeon. Scars are hidden in the folds of your eye, and full recovery time varies from several weeks to several months to see the complete effect of the surgery. Bruising, swelling, itching, and dry eyes are not uncommon, but we fully prepare you for what to expect. If you are in good overall health, have a positive attitude and realistic expectations, you are most likely a good candidate for this procedure.

A surgeon who is board-certified in plastic surgery will choose the right procedure for you based on your physical characteristics and aesthetic concerns. I offer a free consultation, where we discuss your goals for requesting a blepharoplasty. For instance, working on your upper lids may be better served by raising your brows a bit. And lower lid incisions are traditionally served by placing the incision just below the eyelashes, trimming and/or repositioning excess skin and fat, and tightening the lower eyelid muscle. If the lower lids just have “bags of fat” and no loose skin, then the incision can be invisible by placing it just inside your lower eyelid.

Depending on your preferences as well as your tolerances, this quick and easy procedure can sometimes be done in the office without putting you to sleep. We also offer a non-surgical approach using hyaluronic acid (HA) fillers for the lower eyelids. Micro aliquots of fillers can be injected into the tear trough (crescent-shaped under-eye area) to rejuvenate the appearance of the under-eye area. Results are varied and last approximately a year.

For more information, or to schedule a consultation, give us a call at (415) 925-8555.